“Come Dine With Me” Creating ripples through a Community Circle

The purpose of Dawn’s circle is to support her to find things to do and make new friendships. During the first few circle meetings we explored lots of ideas to support Dawn achieve her purpose.

One of the things Dawn is now involved with is helping on the bookstall at the local church’s coffee morning. Dawn enjoys the contribution she is making and the opportunity to meet new people, the church members are also really pleased with the help Dawn is giving.

Another action, thinking about supporting Dawn with healthy eating, was to share some healthy eating recipes and to join Dawn for tea, where we made a low fat chicken korma.
Dawn really enjoyed cooking and inviting someone for tea and at the next meeting we chatted about how to do this more often.

Dawn wasn’t sure she knew anyone well enough to invite them for tea, so with support from her circle, we thought about what would work best. We decided to have a Come Dine With Me event, not only for Dawn but to invite other people who are supported by Alternative Futures Group to be involved and then we could match people up.

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There was no pressure about cooking, it could be a three course meal or beans on toast, we weren’t deducting scores if the pastry wasn’t homemade, in fact, if you didn’t want to score people then you didn’t have to. The idea was about company, sharing a meal with someone, perhaps getting to know someone a bit better or meeting someone new.

Dawn is excited for her Come Dine With Me event which is happening in a few weeks.
Thinking about this made me reflect on the ripples that happen from a Community Circle. As well as supporting the person who has a circle, ripples can reach far and wide. Through the idea at Dawn’s circle, other people have been invited to take part and new friendships are blossoming.

Last night I had the pleasure of being invited to Toni’s for tea who was taking part in Come Dine With Me. Toni had put a three course menu together and invited her boyfriend and three other people. It was a great get together, needing the emergency chairs from the garden to make sure everyone had a chair at the table. Toni showed me the preparation she had done getting all the shopping and there was a definite feeling of excitement.

Food was great and a lot of thought had been put into the menu but what I’ll remember is the laughter around the table, the banter between old friends and getting to know new ones, it was a wonderful atmosphere. I’m really looking forward to hearing how other people get on with their Come Dine With Me events.

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Toni was thrilled with her evening especially when Jason said “10/10 you’ve worked your socks off”
Who will you invite for tea?

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Cath Barton
Community Circles Connector, Rochdale
Alternative Futures Group